Monday, October 29, 2018

High Drama, Coming This Saturday To Powers Field

The "Beat The Tiger" promotion on the Princeton Stadium videoboard Saturday asked the question of how many different Halloween candies you can name?

The contestant came up with 19. The Princeton football player on the board came up with 10 or so. Contestant wins.

Up in the PA booth, TigerBlog and his colleague Macall Martin talked about their own favorites. TigerBlog mentioned the wildly underrated mini-Three Musketeers bars, not to mention Kit Kats and peanut butter cups.

TB pointed out to Macall that he doesn't like peanut butter but does like peanut butter cups, and she said that she thinks that's a common phenomenon. She also said she's okay with peanuts but not walnuts.

At one point, Senior Associate Athletic Director Kellie Staples came by with a bunch of candy, but more the fruity kind than the chocolate kind. TigerBlog definitely prefers the chocolate kind.

The Princeton Stadium music director is DJ Darius the First. TigerBlog knew him first as Darius Young, who was a great three-sport athlete at Princeton High School back when TB covered high school sports. Darius was in the booth next to TB and Macall, and he wandered over to grab some of the candy.

There were other conversations too. TigerBlog told Macall the story of his friend from freshman year at Penn who came back from a class one day and announced that he'd met the woman he was going to marry - even if he didn't know her name yet. Oh, and it turned out that they had the same last name. And oh, they ended up getting married.

Macall talked about her husband and their two Great Danes. And how she used to work at Oregon State. Later on Macall's fellow marketing staff member Thelma Hughes came up.

It was like a little party up there.

As for the game on the field? Well, like each Princeton football game on Powers Field so far this season, there really wasn't much drama there. Nope. For the fourth time this year, Princeton put away its opponent early, leaving only the final score to be determined. There hasn't been a dramatic moment beyond the middle of the second quarter or so.

And all that will change with the fifth game on that field this year. That one comes up Saturday at 1, when 7-0 Princeton and 7-0 Dartmouth meet. It won't decide the Ivy League championship yet, not with two weeks remaining, and it'll be tough for whoever wins to come back the next week. The game after the big game is never easy.

Still, this is the first time in 25 years that there's been a matchup of unbeaten Ivy teams this late in the season involving Princeton and second time overall, after unbeatens Penn and Harvard played late in 2001. A look ahead to the weather forecast suggests 57 and sunny, which would be just perfect for a game like this.

There will be plenty of time to talk about the game coming up this week, and TigerBlog definitely will be doing that. First, though, there was the matter of Princeton-Cornell from this past Saturday.

The final was 66-0 Princeton, which made it the most points Princeton has ever scored in an Ivy League game. It also makes it the second time in four home games this year that Princeton has scored 66 points, after a 66-7 win over Lehigh earlier this year.

Here are the halftime scores from Princeton's four home game so far this season:
Princeton 30, Monmouth 9
Princeton 31, Lehigh 7
Princeton 28, Brown 0
Princeton 45, Cornell 0

What does that average out to? Princeton 33.5, Opponents 4.0.

Against Cornell Princeton led 21-0 after first quarter. By the end of the game, Princeton had outgained Cornell 504-243, with 358 of those yards on the ground.

Princeton had 13 drives against Cornell and nine of those ended in touchdowns. The first half drive chart went this way: punt, TD, TD, TD, TD, TD, TD, FG.

That's wildly impressive.

The best part about this Princeton team is that it's so balanced. The Tigers can beat you in a lot of ways, on both sides of the ball. There's depth, especially since the starters have rarely played into the late third quarter, let alone the fourth.

The result of all of this has been seven straight wins, with very little in the way of drama. The game at Harvard provided some, but Princeton never trailed and was mostly in control in a 29-21 win.

Week 8 will be completely different. There may be 66 points scored, but they won't all be by one team.

No, these are two teams that have put themselves in position to play a game like this. Dartmouth, like Princeton, hasn't really come close to losing yet this year either, with the closest game also Harvard, this past Saturday, by a 24-17 count.

TigerBlog will have much, much more on this coming showdown as it gets closer. Of course, a lot of it just speaks for itself

It's 7-0 Princeton and 7-0 Dartmouth.

The drama is on its way to Powers Field.

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